There are certain times of year when Minnesota has weather very different from the rest of the country. For instance, now we have already had our first snowfall (small and melted already!) and other places people are still harvesting from their vegetable gardens. For all the others, here's a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bread. Of course, you don't have to grow zucchini, you can buy it too!
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Zucchini is so easy to grow that every gardener has lots more than they can use. Baking zucchini bread is a great way to use extra quantities, and adding chocolate improves the flavor for non-zucchini enthusiasts. I shred the squash in my food processor, but it can be grated by hand.
MAKES 2 LOAVES (12 to 16 slices)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups grated zucchini (2 medium zucchini)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350°F with oven rack in middle. Grease with shortening and flour the bottom and part-way up sides of two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.
Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center of the flour by pushing ingredients out toward sides of bowl.
Combine sugar, oil, chocolate, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
Pour chocolate mixture into flour mixture, and stir only until flour is evenly moistened even though batter is not smooth. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Divide batter between the two prepared pans, and smooth the tops.
Bake 36 to 42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out dry. The edges of the bread may be pulling away from pan sides.
Cool on wire cooling rack 10 minutes. Run a spatula around sides of pans to loosen bread. Place rack over the bread and invert so bread falls onto the rack. Remove pan and turn top side up. The bread must cool before it can be sliced, and it slices better the second day.
BAKER’S NOTE: When grating the zucchini by hand, absorb extra moisture by placing the shredded squash between paper towels.
SECRET TO SUCCESS: If the level of the batter isn’t the same in both pans, one of the pans will bake quicker than the other. Take a quick peek after 30 minutes to check the doneness.